WINOL: Features Archive

At the age of just 15, Paul Blackburn was wrongfully imprisoned for 25 years. Presented, edited and produced by Tom Morgan.

Media Law - Year Three Notes Archive

A collection of posts looking at media law, including tips for journalists, case examples and information on the various codes of conduct. Click here for more.

American Election 2012 - US Embassy Report

Myself, Lee Jarvis, Sam Sheard and Kirsty McDonagh spent the evening at the US Embassy as part of WINOL's coverage of the 2012 American election.

Work Experience: The One Show

This blog post serves as a summary of what I got up to during my time at the BBC and also provides some information on how the One Show is run.

Work Experience: PC Advisor

After breaking up from University for the summer, I arranged two separate work experience placements to keep me occupied over the break. The first of these placements was at PC Advisor in London.

Work Experience: Basingstoke Gazette

After breaking up from University for the summer, I arranged two separate work experience placements to keep me occupied over the break. The second of these placements was at the Basingstoke Gazette.

HCJ Notes Archive: Year One and Year Two

A collection of lecture notes, seminar papers and seminar summaries from Year One and Year Two on the HCJ course at the University of Winchester

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Social Work and Facebook - Radio Project Audio

Today me and Flick had a go at getting our heads around the radio equipment down on campus. I'd say we did a pretty good job. I feel fairly confident with the software now. As part of our Radio class, we were asked to make a short radio edit discussing something relevant to academic life. We decided to talk about the links between social work and Facebook.

This article helped us decide how we could go about turning this debate into a mini radio piece.

Feel free to have a quick listen to what we came up with. The link to the video is below! I'd also like to thank Dr Gully and Gemma for talking to us. It's irritating that the audio we recorded in the studio came out with a slight echo, but hopefully we can find away around this before we tackle another project.

video

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Tuesday Blogging Frenzy

Published quite a number of new posts this evening. Also edited the 'notes archive' page with Semester 2 content. Exciting, blog-related times!

Links below:

1) "Lecture 1, Semester 2 (Raw Notes)"
2) "Seminar Paper - Mary Wollstonecraft"
3) "Jean Jacques Rousseau - Notes"
4)  "Existentialism and Literature: Kafka and Borges - Notes"
5) "Soren Kiekegaard - Notes"

Mary Wollstonecraft

Lecture 1, Semester 2 (Raw Notes)

Rousseau:
* Main creative force was christianity - but had dissapeared
* Vacuum filled by a belief in divinity of nature
* Rousseau - Mountains of Switzerland - Island in Vienna. "Lone walker" - Fascinated with nature, especially mountains
* Intense experience - Listening to waves - All painful memories about the past and anxieties about the future were lost except a sense of well-being. Nature brings inner peace.
* It was a political time bomb - The new cult of sensibility - Romanticism. (Considered to have some rather controversial views)
* During his 'experience', Rousseau felt everything that had been wriitten before was a lie. Rousseau = anti-reasonn. It's all about feeling and nature.

*Rousseau's belief in the beauty and innocence of nature was extended to man.
* He believed that natural man was virtuous - believe in a golden age and a reaction against the corruption of 18th century society
* "No one has used such intelligence to persuade us to be stupid. After reading your book one feels as if one should walk on all fours" - Voltaire
* Tahiti - Describing the paradise in which the primitive people live. People without civilization were beautiful, pure. He essentially says we must become like animals. Innocent, beautiful.

Primitive people - A simple and pleasant life.

Contrasting view - Locke sees civilization, ownership of property is good.

Romanticism:

* Reaction against the enlightenment - Believed in suppremacy of emotion
* Rousseau: "Man is born free, but everywhere is in chains"
* Must return to nature, goodness of primitive man - the noble savage
* Civilization has corrupted us - the statue - leaves us alienated
* Trapped in the competition of "self esteem"

Social contract: Rousseau tries for something more utopian.

* "Taking men as they are, and no laws as they might be" - Admits there is no way back to nature.
* The problem: "Find a form of association which defends and protects with all the common force, the person and goods of each associate and by means of which each one while writing with all obeys only himself and remains as free as before. Wants to find government model that will protect us yet give us complete freeedom

Rousseau - You can be free in this new world of Utopia. Plans to do this using:

General Will - Since we all contribute to the shaping of this general will, when we obey its laws we do, he wants to say, bo more than obey ourselves - "For it to be driven by appetite alone is slavery and obedience to the law one has prescribed for oneself is freedom"

* Direct demoracy - No representation.
* Contrast with liberal, public/private sphere
* Rousseai is saying there isn't a public and a private.

Dangers of general will:
* Danger is of a new kind of dictatorship, the tyranny of law - Anyone who refuses to obey the general will be "forced to be free"

Seminar Paper - Mary Wollstonecraft

Mary Wollstonecraft was, and still is, considered one of the key thinkers in the world of feminism. She was referred to as “the mother of feminism”, attempting to prove that woman were not born inferior to men, yet it was in fact the state and society as a whole that placed them as inferior beings. 'A Vindication of the Rights of Woman' was not only revolutionary, but thoroughly controversial.

In the passage, Wollstonecraft attempts to explore the idea that society has enslaved women through gender oppression. Women were in a world where men had been placed as superior, yet Mary argued this should not have been the case at all. She argues: “She was not created merely to be the solace of man”. Mary is often referred to by many as a liberal, [a demand for progression], due to the nature of her writings and themes such as a desire for gender equality.

Rousseau and Wollstonecraft have very conflicting opinions towards women's role in society. Whereas Rousseau argues that women must go about their duties maintaining the home, Mary argues that women have the ability to do this and also be of use to society. In Mary's eyes, it is society that has limited women's capability to be of further use. She supports Locke's idea of the blank slate, which shows that women are not at a natural disadvantage. From this we can assume it is society that has shaped the role of women, not nature.

Rousseau also argues that education for women must be related to their so-called 'duties as a woman'. The things they are taught must be of practical use in the home. It's possible to draw a link to reason here, which is something Mary goes into throughout the passage. In Mary's mind, a woman's view of the world she lives in is limited as it is primarily dominated by men. It could easily be argued that education is a way of allowing women to develop reason.

The theme of gender equality completely contrasts with the idea that women are seen as slaves, which is a theme that is repeated throughout the passage. For example, she likens woman to caged birds, writing: “Confined, then, in cages like the feathered race, they have nothing to do but to plume themselves”. This quote portrays woman as very simple beings, which is perhaps what society has shaped them to become. Obviously, this is something Wollstonecraft is against. Mary goes on to describe societies idea of the ideal woman, including terms such as 'patient', 'docile', 'good humoured' and 'flexible'.

The links between woman and slavery are furthered. Mary writes, “Yet, to their senses, are women made slaves, because it is by their sensibility that they obtain present power”. I feel that here Wollstonecraft has identified a vicious circle in terms of the relationship between society and women. Women are slaves to their nature, as Mary says, yet it is this nature that society shapes. Mary has shown that not only are woman slaves to society and its expectations, but also their own emotions. It's almost as If women are bound by something they don't even recognise. Mary defends women in this matter yet not all matters. It's easy to see that Wollstonecraft is fairly critical of women in the passage and it's almost as if she is frustrated that women aren't more willing to alter their role in society. Obviously, society is stuck in its ways, which makes change and progression in terms of gender equality hard to kick-start. She writes: “Pleasure is the business of woman's life, according to the present modification of society; and while it continues to be so, little can be expected from such weak beings”, which is particularly critical of woman and the idea they are slaves to societies expectations of themselves.

Mary also talks about how women are denied an education, writing: “...the very constitution of civil governments has put almost insuperable obstacles in the way to prevent the cultivation of female understanding”. Here she essentially blames the government for gender inequality in terms of education. She goes on to say: “Men, in their youth, are prepared for professions […] whilst women, on the contrary, have no other scheme to sharpen their faculties”. Wollstonecraft seems to suggest that society has placed woman in the shadow of men, in a world where they are judged merely on superficial things. This theme of superficiality is supported well by what Mary says later in the passage, where she writes: “His authority and her sex ever stand between them and rational converse”. This quote raises the point that it's very easy for a man to fail to see past a woman’s looks. But do women question why their looks are so important? Wollstonecraft argues no. A link with reason, another key concept in the passage, can be drawn here. If a woman has beauty does she necessarily need much reason?

Despite stating that the government fail to give women a decent education, Mary describes how women still conform to their archetypal roles. A question is raised from this argument: Would women question their role in society if they were provided with a proper education? Personally, I do think education would lead woman to question their position in a world that had become dominated by men.

Another theme explored in the passage is that of cultivated emotion and the danger of the power of this emotion. Mary describes how woman are “consequently […] the prey of their senses”, yet also brings forward a counter-argument that this emotion is actually encouraged. She writes, “The passions thus pampered, whilst the judgement is lest unformed, what can be expected to ensure? Undoubtedly, a mixture of madness and folly!”. Fear, for example, is another emotion Mary discusses. Fear in a man is seen as a weakness but in a woman it's almost taken as being sweet and in line with their gender. For example, Mary writes: “Fragile in every sense of the word, they [women] are obliged to look up to man for every comfort”.

Mary describes how men’s behaviour towards women can be somewhat degrading and patronising. She writes, “I lament that women are systematically degraded by receiving the trivial attentions which men think it manly to pay to the sex, when in fact, they are insultingly supporting their own superiority”. Men think they're being respectful to women when in fact they're reinforcing the idea that Wollstonecraft is against – the idea that women and men are completely different. Women are women and men are men. Women should require and long for the desire and love of men, and men should be brave, strong protectors. This links back to my previous point about the difference in how fear is seen in men and women.

'A Vindication of the Rights of Woman' questions what the point in being intellectual is when a woman is already blessed with beauty. Later in the passage, Mary furthers discussion in this area by describing how woman have learnt to use their beauty. She writes, “These are the arts by which he proposes to make mankind more easily submit to his authority”. This could be an example of Mary questioning the behaviour of women. Do they chose to play the role society has shaped for them or do they do it because they have no other choice? Furthermore, the line 'The passions of men have placed women on the throne' raises more questions. Have these women been placed on the throne for their wisdom, or just because they're young and attractive? Mary seems to lean towards the latter conclusion, writing: “A king is always a king, and a woman is always a woman”. Obviously, she is not in support of this conclusion, but it is a conclusion that society makes impossible to alter.

Mary was a supporter of Locke's philosophical idea of a blank slate, which states that we have the tools to learn from birth, but we learn from scratch. It makes sense that Mary supports Locke's theory, because this would therefore mean both men and woman were born equal. Both are blank slates, and both have potential. If this was the case, Mary argues, why did education remain superficial to women?

'A Vindication of the Rights of Woman' raises some key points over the effect society plays on gender equality. Mary both criticises and defends women, describing how it's frustrating they are given roles to which they must follow, yet also how they don't question these roles. Effective education would perhaps go some way to fixing this issue, yet this is denied.

I feel that Mary puts across some good points, yet it seems to me she has very few solutions to offer towards the problems she identifies in the passage. I also feel that Mary has a tendency to repeat her points multiple times, sometimes even going against what she has said previously. For example, she describes how women are degraded and treated unfairly yet then goes on to criticise them for not questioning the world around them, making them seem simple and subservient.

Jean Jacques Rousseau - Notes

[ This was some of the work I did over the break while we were away. I just never got around to uploading it! ]

Rousseau is considered the founder of romanticism.

He believed that this world is a world of quantifying things, putting things into systems. It was wrong - not a true or full expression of what it is to be a human being. Rousseau is anti-enlightenment.

He saw society as the thing that corrupted peoples true nature.

the noble savage - somebody that was removed from society, not corrupt yet. They were in a pure state, a state of nature. Somebody who didn't care about how society views them. Acts on true instincts.

Alot of Rousseau's ideas weren't clearly formed. Didn't come up with an idea of what society should be.

Existentialism and Literature: Kafka and Borges – Notes

[ This was some of the work I did over the break while we were away. I just never got around to uploading it! ]

Both Kafka and Borges were 20th Century novelists

Kafka
1883-1924

Kafka was best known for his short story writing. He wrote a full length novel called "The Trial"

"The Trial" is about a person who finds himself to be on trial, yet they don't know why they're on trial and who has accused them. They just have the fact that they are guilty. The person questions what it is he has done that was considered a crime

The book demonstrates the cruelty of bureaucracy. As he is accused of this crime, he grows apart from his family and friends.

Borges
1899-1986

South American, from Argentina. He is also a short story writer. Short stories are one of the main forms of modern literature. Used greatly by existentialists.

library of babel / lottery of Babylon - Wrote these in the 40's - the 'golden age' of the existentialist writing. These books were not translated into English until the early 1960's.

Main point of the movement is its intense subjectivity. All values are determined by each individual subjectively. There is no set of values that exist externally. If the universe is determined by our own subjective existence it turns out to be an "endless labyrinth".

Soren Kiekegaard - Notes

[ This was some of the work I did over the break while we were away. I just never got around to uploading it! ]

Soren Kiekegaard was a 19th century Danish Philosopher and was described by Jean-Paul Sartre (one of the "leading figures" in 20th century French philosophy) as the first existentialist writer. Existentialism is a philosophical belief that seems to place emphasis on an individuals freedom, choice and existence.

In his book entitled "Either/Or" Kierkegaard rejects the idea of organised religion. He also states that to be a christian one must reject Christianity completely. If everybody was a christian, it would be impossible for anybody to be a christian.

Kierkegaard supports the idea of  what is referred to as “eternal isolation” - Views this as the human condition and the starting point of all knowledge and wisdom – A kind of despair and anxiety, unknowing. Kierkegaard says you can never be cured of this condition of despair. It's seen as a phenomena of being. Life is despair. For Kierkegaard, there is constant doubt. His passionate commitment is to the figure of Christ. It is also aimed towards the idea of eternal salvation.

Kierkegaard had a difficult childhood. He was 1 of 9 siblings, and by the time he was 21 his mother had passed away.  His father was highly religious, and Kierkegaard rebelled against this, constantly going to parties and drinking. At a later stage in his life he made a conscious decision to stop this. He became a trainee priest. Kierkegaard was planning to get married yet ultimately decided against this after seeing it as too hedonistic.

Hedonistic essentially means: devoted to pleasure.

Kierkegaard devoted the rest of his life to the writing of philosophical works. He wanted to open peoples eyes to the fact they were hiding from themselves through all their pleasure seeking. In every person is a sense of despair, this sense is central to life. It is not an objective fact, it's subjective and only contained within a particular person. Each person must deal individually with the sense of disappear that is central to existence. Kierkegaard also refers to this sense as 'angst'.

In the novel 'Nausea' Sartre's hero is sickened by the sight of a tree root. Sees the tree existing yet sees that it has no purpose. Sartre calls this the key to existence. The following is an extract taken from the novel:

"And then all of a sudden, there it was, clear as day: existence had suddenly unveiled itself. It had lost the harmless look of an abstract category: it was the very paste of things, this root was kneaded into existence. Or rather the root, the park gates, the bench, the sparse grass, all that had vanished: the diversity of things, their individuality, were only an appearance, a veneer".

If you were to remove despair from humans, you would remove their humanity. 


Friday, 11 February 2011

BREAKING NEWS - Mubarak steps down

Vice-President Omar Suleiman has anounced that former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak has decided to step down. If any of you are interested in watching these events as they unfold, you can click the link below which will take you to a live broadcast:


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